Pillars of Eternity is based off of infinity engine games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, long time classics of the RPG genre and are the quintessential western isometric-like RPG. However, I ask a simple question: why do we care about the infinity engine still? Every second I've put into PoE has made me feel like I'm playing a game that while expansive, is rather buggy, and brings back memories of other games I could be playing (like Arcanum).
Infinity engine has never been my thing, I've been more of a Diablo like person. Give me control of a single character. The furthest I've ever gone into IE type games is Arcanum, which is more Fallout than Baldur's Gate and has a compelling story as well.
Don't get me wrong - I enjoy very much Pillars of Eternity, but I enjoy it for its raw RPG like qualities and not for it's unique story or interesting gameplay. At no point has anyone said it's tried to be anything but a recreation of past successes all of which I'm alright with acknowledging, however, that doesn't mean I can't be unsatisfied with it.
I need games to challenge me and to present something to me I haven't seen before. Skyforge is a prime example of a game where there is some new interesting mechanic involved. It's nothing new, it's an MMO that plays a lot like TERA does and provides some very compelling gameplay, however, it repackages a lot of these ideas into something new and exciting. On the fly class changing, built in social tools, and an easy to use outfit designer make it very compelling for me.
For Pillars, I've played this same game so much that it's not new. For me, I want something exciting. I want new settings or mechanics. I don't need for it to be a totally new game, but for instance, high fantasy has been done and it has been done well ever so much. Let's look at new locations, like sci-fi fantasy or less touched on areas like Roman era or even Egyptian or Viking.
There is a lot of places to take a game that has been done before, like for instance in an Egyptian style game you can worship one of many gods and the area doesn't even specifically have to be Egypt or the desert, it could be an off-world colony.
For mechanics, PoE does invest into some new classes, but it doesn't invest in something neat or exciting. Features like the Stronghold are awesome, but they also inspire a lot of dissatisfaction because some players want more while others don't want to manage it. The only feature really that stands out is Strongholds.
I'm sure there is a lot of other nuanced new stuff, but I'm not a huge CRPG fan. PoE is made for hardcore fans and to that I must say, it delivers. Those who grew up loving Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate will not be disappointed. If you want, it's on sale at Games Republik every now and then, right now as of posting it's 10% off which is awesome for a game that just came out.
Yet, for me, I long for something else, and that is the way the cookie crumbles.
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